Re: "Radioactive" lymphnodes

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Andre du Toit, Dept of Anatomical Pathology, Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, 
South Africa asks:

>>Lately we received more and more lymph nodes for frozen sections from 
patients who had radiotherapy. What I would like to know is if there is a 
special protocol for handling these nodes. We don't seem to have anything 
"special" on that.<<

Radiotherapy - irradiation from an external radiation source - does not 
induce radioactivity in the irradiated tissues, and there is no scientific 
reason to handle them differently from any other tissues presented for frozen 

Sentinel node biopsy, where radioactive material is actually injected near 
the lymph node, is a different matter. This topic has been repeatedly 
discussed on HistoNet. Basically, the answer is that the amount of 
radioactive material present does not require special handling.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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